Sunnyvale accomplished one goal by turning its season around after an uncharacteristic start, winning four of its final five games.
Next on the list was putting together a playoff run and the Raiders took the first step on Thursday with a 38-14 victory over Ferris in a Class 4A Division 2 bi-district game at Raider Stadium.
Sunnyvale improves to 5-4 and advances to the area finals where it will take on the winner of the Mexia/Spring Hill game next week at a time and place to be determined.
The Raiders struck first in the opening quarter, as Jake Taylor’s 4-yard touchdown run staked them to a 7-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets had an early answer with a short scoring run by Nick Aguinaga but failed on the two-point conversion, leaving it at 7-6.
Sunnyvale took control from there.
The Raiders needed only two plays to answer, as Max McAda broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run to make it 14-6.
Early in the second quarter, Sunnyvale embarked on a 96-yard drive, capped when McAda hooked up with Noah McDill on a 24-yard scoring strike to push the advantage to 21-6.
It stayed that way until halftime and the scoring remained slow in the third quarter, with the lone points coming courtesy of a 32-yard field goal by Jake Pecina.
The Raiders picked it back up in the fourth to put the game away.
McAda made it into the end zone on a quarterback sneak from a yard out and Sunnyvale then got the big play when Obi Arinze busted a 62-yard touchdown run to make it 38-6.
Ferris tacked on one more score late in the fourth, but by that point, the Raiders were already celebrating on the sideline.